Call to Order and Roll Call
The2nd meeting of the Budget Review Subcommittee on Postsecondary Education of the Interim Joint Committee on Appropriations and Revenue was held on<Day> Wednesday, September 26, 2012, at 2:00 PM, in the Digitorium at the Northern Kentucky University campus. Representative Arnold Simpson, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Jared Carpenter, Co-Chair; Representative Arnold Simpson, Co-Chair; Senator Gerald A. Neal; Representatives Kelly Flood, Melvin B. Henley, Reginald Meeks, Jody Richards, Carl Rollins II, and Rita Smart.
Guests: President Geoff Mearns, President, Northern Kentucky University (NKU), Janet Harrah, Center for Economic Analysis and Development (CEAD), Dr. Kristi Haik, Associate Professor of Biology and Interim Director of CINSAM, Dr. Edward Hughes, President, Gateway Community and Technical College, Dr. Kevin Kirby, Dean of the College for Informatics, Tim Ferguson, Director of Center for Applied Informatics, Chris Stern, UpTech Representative.
Ms. Harrah testified about regional indicators and the 2020 Jobs Outlook. The data on occupational projections through 2020 for the Northern Kentucky/Greater Cincinnati area shows the majority of high-paying job openings will require a post-secondary degree and the highest paying occupations will be in healthcare and computer science.
Dr. Haik testified about the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM), which is the university’s Program of Distinction in the Commonwealth. CINSAM’s vision is to facilitate NKU becoming a national leader in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and scholarship. Dr. Haik also discussed CINSAM’s goals related to the university’s strategic plan.
Dr. Hughes discussed the partnership that Gateway Community and Technical College shares with NKU and efficiencies in transferability of Gateway’s students to NKU. He also discussed the benefits of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing located at the Boone Campus. The 2006 General Assembly appropriated $28.5 million in the 2006-2008 biennium to fund construction of the Center which began in 2007. He emphasized the importance of the development of the new Urban Campus in Covington.
Representative Flood stated that she was inspired by the bold vision that Northern Kentucky University has for the future. As the new standards are implemented for teachers of STEM areas, it is important to remember to give time for the standards to be integrated into the life of the teacher and to provide them proper training.
In response to a question by Representative Meeks, Dr. Haik said that a student wishing to join the SOAR program needs a minimum math ACT score of 23 and needs to be a STEM major. He said that the SOAR program accepts sophomores, juniors, and transfer students.
The Informatics/Consumer Health Vision & Opportunity
Dr. Kirby and Mr. Ferguson testified about the purpose of the College for Informatics and its main areas, including the Center for Applied Informatics. Mr. Stern talked about how his company, InstrumentLife has worked closely with the college’s Mobile/Web Academy through Uptech to improve its internet-based business. Uptech is a startup business accelerator program under which the college’s students perform development work for companies.
President Mearns discussed the significance of a Health Innovations Center and how would build on the existing strengths of the university, address space issues on campus, and benefit the community and state. The university requested $92.5 million for this capital project in its 2012-2014 biennial budget submission and ranked the project as its top priority.
Student Success–21st Century Retention, Graduation and Career Planning Center
President Mearns discussed the university’s decision to spend $6 million of reallocated funds to renovate the old University Center to become a collaborative space where students can get integrated support for both academic advising and career planning. This new Student Success Center will co-locate all necessary business and support services so that students have a true one-stop-shop.
Representative Graham stated that he was impressed by the collaboration between Northern Kentucky University and Gateway Community and Technical College. He thanked President Mearns for his hard work at the university.
Chairman Simpson stated that the College of Informatics is on the cutting edge of success with its facilities. He said that funding it is important to put students first and to ensure student success in view of the rising cost of education.
There being no further business before the Committee, the meeting was adjourned at 3:49 PM.